Category: English (page 1 of 34)

When trying to find… the meaning

“So what is the author saying with the colour of the door?” Well, it’s red, the end!

I never understood this fascination of teachers with “the meaning” of the smallest things. Half of them seemed extremely farfetched to me, if not even utterly ridiculous. It’s a adventure novel, not a poem or some heavy prose!
Sometimes I wonder: if I ever get any works published, what kind of weird meanings teachers would find and learn their students. Stuff like this might be utterly nonsense to think about, getting published is a challenge on its own but finding your way into the classrooms or even bookclubs is an even bigger feat, and yet a lot of writers do so. Mostly because it’s entertaining and a tad distracting when you write. It gets your mind and imagination racing and makes you laugh, which is especially helpful when you’re writing a boring part or when you feel like you’re getting stuck.

So I’m currently writing the start of a thriller and I can’t help what people might see in the beginning that might become a recurring thing. Something with meaning. Half of the story will have meaning, if it’s up to me, mostly because it is inspired on real events. But does that immediately give it meaning? Not necessarily. For me it’s a part of a process, which is why I write and why I enjoy writing. But a red door might just be red simply because I saw a cool building with a red door.

Knowing myself, that might exactly be the case.

When trying to find… the plot

So here I’m sitting. I haven’t written in a while, not even this blog which is so terribly behind that I’m starting to get worried about it. It is time for some rearrangement of my life, and mostly of my time and schedule.

Where will I start this time? I stare at the ceiling. If I smoked I would blow circles towards it. The room around me would be shaded. London can be so pittoresque, so busy, so big, if only you would live there in the right time and in the right circles. I don’t, I just sit here as a broken down journalist and writer desperate to earn my meal and therefore I write whatever people tell me to write. It’s killing my soul, it’s killing all my creativity, but who would pay a writer? I’m not fricking Shakespeare, if I was I wouldn’t be sitting in this room!
I snap out of the daydream, woken up by a yelling neighbour. He and his wife have had screaming matches for most of the week. She always wins by the way and the funny thing is that they never argue in their own home. Only out on the street. I get up, walk unto my balcony and look down. There they stand, as expected. This time they’re arguing about the dog, I can’t understand half of what they say. Her voice gets to high-pitched, I think only the dog would understand it.

Daily life is a funny thing. When you look at all these things separately they seem random, but when you write them down you can see a way to connect the daydream of being a poor writer in the mid 1800’s in England to the argument of my neighbours on the street. The only problem I seem to have, is that I lose this plot quite easily resulting in my story stranding halfway through the end. It’s easy to rush, to just say they are having an argument and never mentioning why. But that way you wouldn’t know that the argument is just about something little and plays no further role. Or does it…? Because today it is about the dog, but yesterday it was about that she wants to have children… And there is a connection between those and with the possible future.

Plots and logical connections are easily lost to a writer, or so thought out but clumsily written that no reader will ever understand them. I need a map… NOW!

‘Time’? That’s that concept with a clock, right?

Time, we never have enough of it. Or so it seems. The concept with the clock, the clock that you build your day around. But what is ‘time’, and mostly: is it the same for all of us?

I read this really interesting book not too long ago, the title would translate to: Who (doesn’t) travel is crazy, where the author discussed the notion of time. About how Western societies see time as a solid thing, something you’re bound to live by, where other cultures see time as a fluid factor in the world. I had some first hand experience with this while I lived in South Africa. I quickly learned that if a South African said he/she was going to do something now, that did not necessarily mean that it was getting done now.

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